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This book was first published in 2003. Two years later, it was reissued in paperback without any changes as far as the reviewer is aware. This decision of the publisher can be taken as a reflection of the book's well deserved success.
Evelyn Welch's Shopping in the Renaissance. Consumer Cultures in Italy 1400–1600 is a fascinating study which turns a common social practice into a compelling subject of research. The author's ability to employ different historical approaches at the same time confirms that cultural, social, economic and art history can enhance each other.
The re-periodisation of European history achieved in the last few decades is now complete in all but name. The idea of the eleventh to thirteenth centuries as a uniquely formative period for the creation of a European identity no longer surprises academic readers.
Does the study of normality require justification when the latter coexists with atrocity? Semmens's study of tourism in the Third Reich begins on a defensive note, assuring the reader of the author's sensitivity to 'the enduring dissonance between holidays and horror, vacations and violence, tourism and terror' (p. 2).
Consider two of the most intriguing facts contained in this book: while around one in six East Germans disliked their country so much that they left it permanently, one in five adults were prepared to become a member of its ruling party, the SED (Socialist Unity Party). The first fact will come as a surprise to nobody.
This book has been long awaited and its appearance is a major event. John Blair's work over the last twenty years on the role and importance of minsters and on the subsequent emergence of a local network of parish churches has already transformed historians' understanding of the Anglo-Saxon Church.
Eighteenth-century motherhood is a subject often neglected by historians. Literary scholars have contributed fascinating commentaries on the development of ideals of motherhood and their deployment in empire and state-building narratives and class formation.
Anyone who has been researching or simply been interested in female monasticism in medieval England must have noticed a frustrating scarcity of primary sources which has resulted result in relatively meagre secondary literature. Paradoxically, we know more about the spiritual life of medieval nuns than we know about more mundane areas of their life.
Professor Jacob's book is the latest of her several notable contributions to masonic history, which have included The Radical Enlightenment (1981) and Living the Enlightenment (1991). The book's title presumably owes something to my book of the same name (1988), while the subtitle derives from Henry Sadler's remarkable Masonic Facts and Fictions (1887).
Since the 1960s, popular leisure has been studied by successive generations of British social historians. Questions of class, of culture and of identity have been central to the development of this literature. Celebrations of distinctively plebeian customs have contended with pessimistic analyses of mass culture as a form of social control.